I recently wrote a tip about how to get your money back in full instead of a trip credit when an airline issues a travel waiver. Another tip I have regarding airline travel waivers or a change of schedule is that you can change your flight to a time or aircraft that might have been more expensive than the original one you purchased at no extra charge.
I’ve used this trick before, especially when I buy tickets months in advance. I almost always buy the cheapest ticket with either cash or miles, even if it’s at a time or aircraft I don’t really want to take, because I know that airlines frequently change their schedules. So if they change my booked departure time by an hour or two (depends on the airline), I can almost always call them up and get the reservation agent to change it to the flight I really want.
The same goes for if there’s bad weather and an airline offers a flight waiver. For example, let’s say I wanted to fly LAX to JFK this Saturday. I’d much prefer to be on the 11am flight, which would get me in at 7pm but it’s a whopping $1,615. I wouldn’t drop that kind of money to arrive five hours earlier so I’d book the 4pm flight, which is only $409 (see screenshot below).
Now, the trick to get on the earlier and more expensive flight is to monitor the weather and flights and act once the airline offers a waiver. That way, you have the best chance of getting a seat(s) on the most desired flight and the earlier you book, the better chance you have of getting a good seat (ahem, aisle or window).
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.